The tutors behind Varsity Tutors are not just here to teach – they’re sharing their college experiences as well. Brandon is a Houston tutor specializing in Algebra tutoring, Middle School Math tutoring, Statistics tutoring, and a number of other areas. He is currently a senior at University of Houston majoring in Psychology. See what he had to share about University of Houston:
VT: Describe the campus setting and transportation options. How urban or safe is the campus? Are there buses or do you need a car/bike?
Brandon: University of Houston has a bus system that runs every 15 minutes. Other than that, the other modes of transportation are bike, foot, and longboard. I would argue that actually being on campus is safe, but the outskirts of campus are not. You do not need a car or bike if you do not mind walking a bit.
VT: How available are the professors, academic advisers, and teaching assistants?
Brandon: The vast majority of professors and teaching assistants are readily available, but there are always those teachers who are impossible to reach. As for academic advisers, they seem to be pretty hard to schedule a face-to-face meeting with, especially around course-scheduling time.
VT: How would you describe the dorm life – rooms, dining options, location, socialization opportunities with other students?
Brandon: The majority of the rooms are nice, as most buildings are being renovated or have been renovated. The dining options get really old, really fast, and the hours of operation are not ideal. University of Houston is definitely not a school where you want to live on-campus for longer than you have to. The location of the dorms in relation to class buildings is pretty close in general, though there are still those 20-minute walks that will happen anywhere.
VT: Which majors/programs are best represented and supported? What did you study and why? Did the university do a good job supporting your particular area of study?
Brandon: I would say that Business and our Hotel and Restaurant Management majors are the best represented and supported. I studied Psychology because I wanted to help people. I had nothing to do with the university. I would say that they did not support my area of study at all, really.
VT: How easy or difficult was it for you to meet people and make friends as a freshman? Does Greek life play a significant role in the campus social life?
Brandon: If you want to make friends, you have plenty of opportunities to do so at the opening events. As long as you intend to befriend someone, it is easily attainable at University of Houston. Greek life does not really play a role in campus social life, other than one event that they host every year called Frontier Fiesta.
VT: How helpful is the Career Center and other student support services? Do many reputable companies recruit on campus?
Brandon: The only service that is subpar is the Financial Aid office. They are quick to give you your bill, but slow to apply your aid. When they do, nine times out of ten, the aid amount is incorrect. Not many reputable companies recruit on campus to my knowledge, but I am just a Psychology major, which is mostly comprised of independent study.
VT: How are the various study areas such as libraries, the student union, and dorm lounges? Are they over-crowded, easily available, spacious?
Brandon: The library has two completely quiet floors, two group study floors, and then various floors in-between. It welcomes all kinds of people and their unique study habits. The lounges are pretty good in the freshmen dorms, but other than that, they are scarce. In the evening, study areas are pretty available, particularly at the library. During the day, the library is a commuter hangout.
VT: Describe the surrounding town. What kinds of outside establishments / things to do are there that make it fun, boring, or somewhere in between? To what extent do students go to the downtown area of the city versus staying near campus?
Brandon: Campus is pretty much surrounded by run-down houses in the Third Ward. There is nothing exciting to do close to University of Houston, really, but there is Rice Village and the Galleria. They make for pretty cool hangout spots. Most people choose to go to the downtown area rather than stay on the campus.
VT: How big or small is the student body? Were you generally pleased or displeased with the typical class sizes?
Brandon: Our student body is an average size, but in the evenings if you live on campus, it can feel like the student body is very small. University of Houston is not a campus that people opt to hang out at. Our class sizes were generally no more than 40 once you finished your required core classes.
VT: Describe one memorable experience with a professor and/or class. Perhaps one you loved the most or one you regret the most.
Brandon: I had a really good professor who genuinely cared about giving us the opportunity to flourish. She was open to helping students obtain internships, and she was funny and excited about her job. She reminded me that there are people out there who actually love to teach and love to help people become well-rounded.
Check out Brandon’s tutoring profile.
The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Varsity Tutors.